Local boy Ron Jacobs, a legendary name in the world of broadcasting, was the original program director of 93/KHJ in Los Angeles, co-creator of American Top 40, producer of the Cruisin’ album series and breeder of the KGB Chicken (San Diego advertising mascot). He published his first book in 1986 and since then has had more than 100 articles and columns published. Most recently, he made a name for himself once again with his book OBAMALAND: Who is Barack Obama? and is now re-releasing his 2002 book, KHJ: Inside Boss Radio.
“KHJ: Inside Boss Radio, has become sort of a textbook on broadcasting, rock’n'roll, Hollywood in the ‘60s and all kind of pop culture,” says Jacobs, 72, a Kaneohe resident.
“In 2007, I started the first full-time online streaming of Hawaiian music, the first one originating here. However, it ceased broadcasting live when a fire burned me out of the studio in October 2009.”
Jacobs grew up listening to two hot disc jockeys in post World War II Hawaii - Lucky Luck and Hal Lewis. It was these two DJs and lots of time spent at radio stations that inspired Jacobs to a career in radio.
“I joined a teen show on KGMB-AM called The Voice of Junior Hawaii in 1952, and by the next year I received my FCC license,” Jacobs recalls, also noting his time on the show Teen Town Topics, which featured musicians such as Nina Kealiiwahama, Gary Aiko, Ronnie Miyashiro and others.
In 1955, Jacobs quit school and went to work as an all-night DJ on KHON, which later became KPOI, home of the infamous POI Boys. He also worked with MidWeek columnist, DJ and promoter Tom Moffatt at KGU prior to being hired by Henry J. Kaiser to start KHVH radio. Two years later, Jacobs joined KPOA and at 20 became the youngest program director in Island radio history.
Jacobs appeared on MidWeek‘s cover in June 1988, and with a broadcasting career spanning five decades, he continues to consult Mainland radio stations through the power of streaming audio.
“Knowing that millions of radio listeners around the world have had a moment or two of fun spending some time with something that I worked on is something that I’m proud of,” Jacobs states.
With an equal passion for reading and writing, Jacobs became the first Hawaii-born writer to document President Barack Obama’s life from birth to his high school graduation at Punahou.
“Obama served in Illinois when I visited Northwestern University in Evanston, where my daughter attended. I heard some chatter about a local boy doing well in Chicago politics and have followed his career ever since,” Jacobs says. OBAMALAND was released in November 2008.
“I was aided by scores of talented people from all over - writers, editors, printers, poets, photographers, researchers, artists and more. They contributed in all manner of ways.”
OBAMALAND can be purchased at local bookstores and Jacobs’ KHJ Inside Boss Radio is being re-issued with new never-before-seen material, and can be purchased at http://www.93khj.com.
For more information on Jacobs, visit www.whodaguyhawaii.com.
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